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What if we never run out of oil?

Mon May 20, 2013 3:59 pm

I read a small article in either the WSJ or maybe it was the Financial Times on Japanese discovery of and hope for methane hydrates a couple of months ago. Just read the following article in Atlantic Monthly yesterday - food for thought:

"Together, fracking and a little known energy source called methane hydrate - flammable ice - may soon usher in an age of widespread energy independence. In many respects, this would be a miracle. It also might unleash an arc of instability stretching from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia to Siberia - and doom any hope of halting climate change."

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/arc ... il/309294/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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adric22
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Re: What if we never run out of oil?

Mon May 20, 2013 4:47 pm

I don't think we'll ever run out of oil. I just think it will get prohibitively expensive and other fuel sources will become more mainstream.
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GRA
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Re: What if we never run out of oil?

Mon May 20, 2013 4:54 pm

adric22 wrote:I don't think we'll ever run out of oil. I just think it will get prohibitively expensive and other fuel sources will become more mainstream.
A point the article makes early on, but there's much more than that in it.
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The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

SteveInSeattle
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Re: What if we never run out of oil?

Mon May 20, 2013 9:17 pm

There has certainly been numerous discoveries and technology improvements to dramatically alter the future of fossil fuels. We now have reserves of natural gas, and maybe oil, to last into the next century. So, the issue switches from the ecologists concern of 1970, that of running out of energy, to the concern of 2013, which is, that if all of this carbon is released into the atmosphere there is zero hope of even slowing the warming of the Earth. Humans would be better off if NO more energy was discovered and necessity drove us to renewable alternatives.

Anyway, our small little dent in the problem, buying the Leaf, is about sending a message that R&D in clean transportation is worth spending. The last thing we need is another GM EV1 experience of the manufacturers saying that the people don't want any alternatives.
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Re: What if we never run out of oil?

Tue May 21, 2013 4:36 am

SteveInSeattle wrote: Humans would be better off if NO more energy was discovered and necessity drove us to renewable alternatives.
I guess the very much smaller population that could be sustained by a world devoid of energy would be happy but the billions of people who are alive today because of the availability and abundance of relatively inexpensive energy might not be as thrilled as you seem to be about an energy free planet.
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DNAinaGoodWay
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Re: What if we never run out of oil?

Tue May 21, 2013 5:42 am

Or, if research, like IBMs into Li-Air batteries, yields affordable vehicles with 500 mile range, they would be adopted universally, demand for oil would plummit. Alternate ways to produce electricity would be supported by the demand. In some universe anyway, hopefully ours. Hardly anyone burns kerosene anymore, or whale oil. It's all economics. We're pumping carbon out because it's cheap. Only a cheaper alternative will change that on a macro scale.
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Re: What if we never run out of oil?

Tue May 21, 2013 5:46 am

apvbguy wrote:
SteveInSeattle wrote: Humans would be better off if NO more energy was discovered and necessity drove us to renewable alternatives.
I guess the very much smaller population that could be sustained by a world devoid of energy would be happy but the billions of people who are alive today because of the availability and abundance of relatively inexpensive energy might not be as thrilled as you seem to be about an energy free planet.
Short term, apvbguy, you are correct. Longer term, fossil fuel usage will make billions "not as thrilled".
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adric22
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Re: What if we never run out of oil?

Tue May 21, 2013 6:00 am

SteveInSeattle wrote: Anyway, our small little dent in the problem, buying the Leaf, is about sending a message that R&D in clean transportation is worth spending. The last thing we need is another GM EV1 experience of the manufacturers saying that the people don't want any alternatives.
Well.. If you REALLY want to help the environment, stop trying so hard. I realize that about 30% of EV buyers are environmentally motivated. But if you want the rest of the world to buy these cars you need to stop preaching about them being environmentally friendly. Much of the population is completely turned off by that sort of thing. I know, it is crazy that people think the way they do and sometimes hard to understand.

The best example I can give is if you have two food products and one of them is labelled as "fat free" even if the cost of both products are the same, and even if both products are actually identical, most people will avoid buying the "fat free" version because they will assume it is an inferior tasting food. The only people who will buy it are the ones on a diet.

So if you really want people to buy electric cars they need to be sold on other reasons. They are fun, they are cool, they are high-tech, they are convenient, they are safe, and most importantly - they save money and thus are practical. The fact that they are good for the environment - You and I can silently smile knowing that fact, but keep it to ourselves.
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LTLFTcomposite
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Re: What if we never run out of oil?

Tue May 21, 2013 6:28 am

adric22 wrote: So if you really want people to buy electric cars they need to be sold on other reasons. They are fun, they are cool, they are high-tech, they are convenient, they are safe, and most importantly - they save money and thus are practical. The fact that they are good for the environment - You and I can silently smile knowing that fact, but keep it to ourselves.
+1

There are like 50 people in the world who care about the environment enough to change their lives one iota.
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Smidge204
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Re: What if we never run out of oil?

Tue May 21, 2013 6:41 am

adric22 wrote:The best example I can give is if you have two food products and one of them is labelled as "fat free" even if the cost of both products are the same, and even if both products are actually identical, most people will avoid buying the "fat free" version because they will assume it is an inferior tasting food. The only people who will buy it are the ones on a diet.
That's really a terrible analogy. Some people won't buy "green labeled" products simply because they're assholes.
=Smidge=

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